Rs 1,500 cr BBMP fake bill scam: Cong MLA Munirathna Naidu named in CID chargesheet

This isn’t the first time the leader has been accused of corruption; he, however, claims this is an attempt to defame him before the state Assembly polls.
Rs 1,500 cr BBMP fake bill scam: Cong MLA Munirathna Naidu named in CID chargesheet
Rs 1,500 cr BBMP fake bill scam: Cong MLA Munirathna Naidu named in CID chargesheet
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In another embarrassment for the ruling Congress party ahead of the Karnataka Assembly polls, Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA N Munirathna Naidu (also a film producer and a civil contractor) has been named as an accused in the Crime Investigation Department chargesheet for a multi-crore scam.

According to The Times of India, the CID in its latest chargesheet in the Rs 1,500 crore Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike fake bill scam has named him as the fourth accused seven years into the investigation. He has been named under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust, forgery, falsification of accounts and also sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The case deals with fake bills submitted to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore – purportedly the biggest scam to rock the BBMP – relating to 285 civil works in RR Nagar, Malleswaram and Gandhinagar Assembly constituencies of during the years 2008 and 2011.

The scam was unearthed by the Lokayukta police in 2014 they raided a house owned by Munirathna’s wife and found three BBMP officials – then executive engineer Idaya Vendon, assistant engineer Vishwas and first-division assistant Shylaja – and contractors with more than 850 BBMP files.

This particular chargesheet deals with a road project in Malleshwaram subdivision.

Munirathna has also been a corporator in the past. He is no stranger to controversy. Recently, in May, 2017, three female corporators, including one from his own party, threatened suicide alleging sexual assault by him and his aides.

He was also indicted in a case involving the death of a minor due to a wall collapse in Government Veterinary College on Ballari Road. He was the contractor who built the wall. Other than Munirathna, three BBMP officials have been named as the other accused. All four accused are out on bail.

Defending himself once news of the chargesheet broke, Munirathna claimed that this was a BJP ploy ahead of the elections and said he will approach the Karnataka High Court for relief. He added that the CID did not ask for an explanation from him, even though he was given a clean chit by the BBMP in the past. He said although he owned the house, it was rented to an unrelated person.

This move to name him comes just ahead of the polls in Karnataka. The Congress has been hit by a series of allegations – a minister was caught on camera threatening to set a BBMP office on fire a few weeks ago and senior leader NA Haris’ son was accused of brutally assaulting a man in an upscale eatery in Bengaluru last month.

Investigations found that the accused would fabricate bills of civic works which are already completed or do not even exist on paper.

A lawyer involved in the Lokayukta case alleged that it was unnecessarily going soft on the MLA.

Speaking to TNM, NP Amrutesh said, “The standard procedure is to book the house owner if any crime is taking place in a property. Moreover, here the civil works are in his area and also the contractor for all these civil work.”
“Munirathna is a repeat offender. When he was contractor, his shoddy work led to the death of a techie. Then, as Councillor, he indulged in corruption which has resulted in this chargesheet against him. And as MLA, he has been harassing women councillors. He has got away with all his malpractices and corruption thanks to CM Siddaramaiah. Finally the law has caught up with him,” BJP's Malavika Avinash told TNM.

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